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Teach Next.

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Julia Gillard and Labor Let’s move Australia Forward


A Gillard Labor Government will establish Teach Next - to tap into the knowledge of highly skilled and qualified professionals in areas such as maths and science, so they can share their expertise and passion with Australian students.

Many highly skilled and experienced individuals, like accountants, bankers, engineers and scientists have considered a career in teaching, but have been put off by the time it takes to meet the qualification hurdles.

Teach Next will offer experienced professionals a new option, by providing specialised intensive training of around eight weeks duration that will enable them to quickly move into the classroom with appropriate support and start earning a wage.

This initiative will see lab technicians, accountants, engineers and other professionals become the expert maths and science teachers’ Australian schools need.

Individuals with years of experience will bring new enthusiasm and passion for the subject they will teach, along with up to date knowledge of the industry practices and standards.

This will help to inspire a new generation of young Australians to study subjects such as maths and science which will be vital to ensure the future productivity of the nation in industries like mining, construction and bio-technology.

Why Teach Next?

The Gillard Labor Government knows the difference a great teacher can make in the life of a student - a reality that is supported by extensive educational research. That is why the Government is committed to recruiting, training, retaining and rewarding great teachers.

There have been ongoing teacher shortages in some specialised subject areas, such as mathematics and science, with up to 10 per cent of secondary schools reporting major

Teach Next


Julia Gillard and Labor Let’s move Australia Forward

difficulties in filling teaching vacancies.1 Attracting teachers in the areas of maths and science has proven to be a particularly acute issue for schools in rural and remote areas.2

To fill these gaps schools have sometimes been forced to use teachers from other subject areas to cover maths and science. Teachers do a great job covering a wide range of different subject areas, but forcing them to teach outside their area of subject specialty places considerable pressure on them and it is no substitute for the specialised subject knowledge that enriches these core subjects.

This can result in fewer students being interested in and excited by these subjects and fewer going on to study the sciences and advanced levels of maths in the senior secondary years.

A lack of specialised teachers has sometimes forced schools to limit the range of subjects offered, particularly at senior secondary levels.

At a time when Australia needs more young people to have good skills and knowledge in these fields, fewer students are studying science and advanced maths in the post-compulsory years, perpetuating shortages in these areas.

People who have experience in these fields are able to illuminate the possibilities for real-world application in subjects like maths and science which will encourage more students to study in these areas.

Boosting the number of students studying in maths and science will deliver productivity returns as more students undertake mathematics and science rich courses and contribute to industries like engineering, mining and medical and scientific research.

What will this mean for students?

Teacher quality has been identified as the most important school influence on student achievement. Students will benefit teachers with specialised subject knowledge, who can bring the subject matter to life - with real world examples, recent experience of industry best practice and case studies.

This will provide a better standard of teaching for our students, and will lead to better learning outcomes. In schools that have been struggling to recruit specialised teachers, Teach Next will result in students being offered a greater choice of subjects in senior secondary school. This will help students pursue a path that best matches their interests and abilities.

What will this mean for professionals seeking a career change?

Teach Next will provide a new pathway into teaching for professionals with specialist qualifications who are seeking a career change. This will mean professionals can move quickly into the classroom, without having to sacrifice paid employment to gain the requisite qualification.

1 Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2008, Staff in Australia’s Schools 2007. Australian Council for Education Research, 2008, Participation in Science, Mathematics and Technology in Australian Education. OECD, 2005, Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers, Synthesis Report. 2

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2008, Staff in Australia’s Schools 2007.


Julia Gillard and Labor Let’s move Australia Forward

Teach Next recognises that professionals in maths and science have considerable experience and that provides them with the requisite skills base, with support and additional training, to be a successful teacher.

Federal Labor will work with State and Territory Governments to deliver Teach Next, and participating professionals will receive:

 School based teacher education over two years through which they will gain a formal education qualification, including an intensive teacher training course of around eight weeks at the beginning. The Gillard Labor Government will fund around 50% of the course fee for successful applicants.

 An allowance of up to $10,000 to assist with study costs and any relocation expenses.

 Ongoing training, support and mentoring from an experienced classroom teacher.

What will this mean for schools and teachers?

Schools will benefit from being able to more easily attract teachers in specialist areas. This will be of particular benefit for schools in regional and remote areas, which have had ongoing difficulty in recruiting maths and science teachers.

Schools will benefit from greater diversity and expertise in their teaching workforce. The end result will be a higher standard of education for their students.

Teach Next will also alleviate pressure on existing teachers who can be forced to teach subjects outside their area of expertise.

How will this initiative work?

The Gillard Labor Government will work with State and Territory Governments and Universities to establish Teach Next.

An open tender will select the organisation to develop and deliver Teach Next. Part of this tender process will consider how Teach Next can build on existing programs such as Teach SA.

To help address shortages, 450 professionals will be selected on the basis of their qualifications and level of expertise in their particular field over four years from 2011-12. Those selected will receive subsidised course fees and an allowance of up to $10,000, to assist with study costs and relocation expenses.

Professionals will undertake an initial intensive course and will then be able to gain the rest of their teaching qualification while working full-time in a school for two years.

As employment-based training, the course would allow participants to gain a teaching qualification while earning a salary, removing one of the key barriers that discourage career-changers from transitioning to teaching.

A system will also be established to match career-change professionals with schools which have had trouble recruiting staff in specialised subject areas.

Professionals will be assigned to a school with a teacher shortage and will undertake ongoing training throughout their first two years. They will also be supported by both the principal and an assigned teacher with a number of years of classroom experience.


Julia Gillard and Labor Let’s move Australia Forward

This program will be promoted through the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership, which will work with professional bodies such as the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers and Australian Science Teachers Association.

Total Cost

$13.7 million over the forward estimates.

Labor’s record

Financial Implications ($m, underlying cash balance)3

2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 Total

0 -6.4 -5.3 -4.5 -16.1

The cost of this new policy will be fully offset over the forward estimates, consistent with the Gillard Labor Government’s commitment to return the Budget to surplus in three years.

Labor’s record

The Gillard Labor Government has taken unparalleled action to build a world class education system, so every Australian child can reach their full potential.

We are fast-tracking the best and brightest graduates into teaching and into struggling schools through the Teach for Australia program.

3 Totals may not sum due to rounding.

How Teach Next will connect professionals to the classroom

Hamish has an engineering and mathematics degree and has been working as an engineer for 15 years. He has had a very successful career working on construction projects but he is now feeling unfulfilled and wants to spend more time with his family. Hamish has always thought he’d like to try teaching but has been put off by having to undertake a year of full-time study through a post-graduate diploma or a Masters in education, without receiving an income.

Hamish hears about Teach Next and submits an application that outlines his skills and qualifications as they relate to maths and physics. Hamish is accepted and commences the course, starting with an intensive eight week program, which gives him training on pedagogy, curriculum and other practical training required before he moves into a classroom. Hamish uses his allowance to cover living expenses during the eight week program.

Hamish is matched with a school in his city that has been struggling to find a maths and physics teacher, and has only one other male teacher in the school. Hamish starts teaching in the classroom and is provided with ongoing support and mentoring from the senior maths teacher. Hamish is loving being in the classroom and his students are really enjoying the way Hamish uses examples of local construction projects to illustrate his lessons.


Melanie has been working overseas for a large pharmaceutical company for a number of years, after completing a PhD in science. She would like to move back to Australia and wants a career change, but doesn’t want to give up working in science field - which she loves. Melanie always enjoyed the time she spent coaching netball when she was younger and had often thought about becoming a teacher where she could give something back to the community.

Melanie applies for Teach Next, receives intensive teacher training, and is placed in a school in a rural community in South Australia. Melanie uses her allowance for relocation expenses. The local school is now able to offer Year 11 and 12 students’ science subjects. Melanie receives intensive support and guidance from two other teachers at the school. Melanie becomes an integral and valued part of the community.


Julia Gillard and Labor Let’s move Australia Forward

The Teach for Australia program is an important initiative that is attracting the best and brightest university graduates into our nation’s classrooms, providing a pathway for professionals from non-teaching fields such as law, commerce and science to work as teachers for two years while studying towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching.

Teach First in the United Kingdom and Teach for America in the United States have been shown to deliver better student outcomes and importantly, help raise the status of the profession. Teach for Australia aims to achieve the same results here in Australia.

Under Teach for Australia, up to 180 high-achieving university graduates are being recruited from all Australian States and Territories to participate in the initiative via two cohorts in at least two states.

More than 40 graduates in the first cohort have commenced their two-year placement in 13 Victorian non-government secondary schools, and 300 applications have been received for the second cohort in 2011, with almost four applicants for every available place - an illustration that highly talented graduates are keen to take on the challenges and rewards of teaching.

We have laid the foundations for a world class education system and the Gillard Labor Government is determined to continue driving improved student outcomes, so all Australian children are equipped with the skills they need for a successful future.


As a former Cabinet Minister, Tony Abbott was part of the Coalition Government that:

 Neglected schools, investing only $33 billion over four years. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $63.7 billion over four years - almost double this amount.

 Talked about a national curriculum but failed to deliver.

 Focused on putting flagpoles in schools, not on improving outcomes for students.

If he is elected Prime Minister, Mr Abbott has already made clear that he would cut almost $3.2 billion from the education system. This includes cutting the $425 million Teacher Quality National Partnership which is currently delivering:

 Increased local decision making in schools across the country including the popular Independent Public Schools trial in Western Australia with 34 schools commencing this year.

 High achieving non-education university graduates to the most disadvantaged secondary schools through the Teach for Australia program.

 New Teaching Excellence scholarships for pre-service and existing teachers.

Mr Abbott’s cuts to education will also mean:

 120,000 students across the nation will miss out on a computer in 2300 schools and 670,000 computers that are already funded will become useless and out of date without funding to upgrade and replace them.

 Over 1,800 secondary schools and 1.2 million students will miss out on a chance to access a Trade Training Centre and start a trade at school.

AUTHORISED N.MARTIN for the ALP, 5/9 Sydney Ave. Barton ACT.